Outsourcing has been a hot topic of discussion for several decades. The trend shifts every few years from trying to do things in-house vs outsourcing. There may be a better way to think about marketing services … what if you in-source a fractional team of marketing experts to either be your marketing department or supplement your internal capability?
Fractional CFO, Fractional CIO, Fractional CMO … we’ve become accustomed to seeing c-suite titles being consumed by companies on a part-time basis. At Marcomm, we think fractional should be available and applicable at every level instead of being exclusively c-suite.
“Fractional business services are thriving because they feed growing businesses,” according to a 2019 article on Inc.com. “Early adopters of outsourcing achieve greater efficiencies and increase their bottom lines.”
Why bring in strategic leaders on a “fractional” basis, but continue to hire full-time for the roles that support key business deliverables? How many of these questions apply to your current marketing team and needs?
- Is your company running on marketing fumes because you don’t have the right talent, or enough talent, to get all the work done?
- Have you hired a marketing unicorn? Someone expected to build everything from marketing strategy to websites to social media and everything in between without support.
- Have you ever thought how amazing it would be to build a marketing team based on what you need to accomplish instead of carrying an individual full-time headcount?
- Have your attempts to build your own part-time marketing team of contractors and freelancers left you wishing someone would step in and manage the entire process (and the people)?
- Do you feel that your budget will never be enough to get your wide variety of marketing projects done without breaking the bank?
What if you could build a marketing team on a “fractional” basis?
Have you ever considered gaining access to every marketing resource you need, when you need it, for the project you need … and all without having to hire and maintain a full-time team? Or without stressing out your current team with projects that aren’t in their wheelhouse? Think of a fractional team like an equation … it might look like this:
The answer may be easier than you think.
Imagine having a team of experts at your fingertips. Why have one person when the same budget can employ a fractional team of experts? If you have a marketing department, why not complement your current team with fractional support to fill the gaps, handle the overload and bring specific expertise to the team?
The Inc.com article lists the benefits of outsourcing. These apply even more so to a fractional team of resources working together to deliver marketing services.
Greater efficiency. Outsourcing service providers face pressure to develop strategies and technologies to satisfy clients, so they tend toward an overall higher level of efficiency and output.
Experienced workforce. Outsourcing firms offer a talented pool of experienced professionals, which is especially beneficial for startups that may not have the bandwidth to hire and train appropriate resources.
Scalability and flexibility. A small startup may require only a few hours per month for a given service, but this need will grow with the company. Outsourcing provides the flexibility to scale.
Timely turnaround. Outsourced services offer the required levels of resources to streamline projects for a rapid turnaround to meet deadlines.
So, what’s the catch? It can’t really be that easy, can it?
Many companies have tried freelancers or worked with an agency. They often get frustrated after a few months, a few projects or a few large invoices. The challenges are real:
- Agencies cost too much
- Freelancers may not be available
- Resources cannot handle the specific project or timeline
- More strategy is needed
- More tactical execution is needed
- The list goes on …
That’s why this innovative concept of fractional marketing teams is so timely. Just like adding a fractional c-suite executive (who primarily works on retainers or set budget parameters), a fractional team can be built based on your specific needs. This year it can focus on strategy and planning, and next year on building great content and improving your website. And ALWAYS focused on the day-to-day needs of building sales collateral, doing social media and all the other tasks required of marketing.
Here’s a short list of just some of the work Marcomm’s fractional marketing teams perform for our clients (it’s impossible to list everything … there are so many possibilities):
- Marketing strategy and planning
- Content planning and copywriting
- Sales collateral & presentations
- Email campaigns
- Content calendars & social media
- Webinar & event promotion
- Video production (corporate, video blogs, social and more)
- Social ad campaigns
- Support of product development/launches
- Website (update, refresh or rebuild)
- CRM/Marketing automation support
- Insert your marketing need here
How do I find the right resources? Where do I start?
Having worked for large companies, small companies, started companies and now working as a fractional CMO, I wish I’d thought about building my marketing dream team using the fractional concept years ago. But it wasn’t until I hit a capacity wall as a fractional CMO and needed arms and legs to actually “do the work” that the lightbulb came on. Our fractional marketing practice began in 2020 when I realized that clients needed more than strategy, more than a plan … they needed the doers.
While researching for this article, I found several resources on selecting agencies, contractors and outsourcing partners. However, the article I found most useful again comes from Inc.com.
The following article on hiring part–time CMOs presents valuable questions to consider when seeking a fractional CMO, which are just as applicable when assessing an entire fractional marketing team.
From the article, Need to Move Your Marketing Up a Notch? Try Hiring a Fractional CMO
So how do you know if engaging a fractional marketing team might be the right solution for your marketing and branding needs? Consider the following:
- Do you need someone who can act as a “general contractor” for a series of marketing and branding initiatives you have going on (or need to start) but have no one in-house who’s really capable of taking on that role?
- Do you need someone who brings an outside eye and expertise to a wide variety of marketing and branding issues you are struggling with, can turn that insight into a strategy, but then has the resources and capacity to implement the plan?
- Do you have a specific long-term branding or marketing project that requires a leader with the expertise you don’t have in-house?
- Do you need someone to lead a cultural transformation to help your business become more brand and marketing focused?
- Do you have a multitude of begun, but not done, branding and marketing initiatives that you just can’t seem to move over the finish line? [I find this point particularly near and dear to our clients]
If you’re experiencing marketing gaps, need CMO-level expertise or simply don’t know how to build the kind of team that will deliver marketing results – consider a fractional marketing team. Talk to Marcomm and challenge us to share how we “team” to build your fractional marketing dream team.
The answer to your marketing challenges may be simpler than you think.
Chat with Marcomm about fractional services.
Learn more about fractional services and how to fill your marketing gaps. Check out these other articles and videos about fractional marketing.